Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Water Taxi in Manokwari

City dwellers and foreign tourists who want to go Mansinam and Lemon islands will usually go by water taxi. This is the only public transportation that is available in the Dorey bay. If you have just arrived in this city and want to travel around the islands that I just mentioned above, you can ask ojek (motorcycle taxi) to take you to Ketapang Boat Station. It is located in Kwawi area next to the residence of a prominent Papuan artist Mr. Tonci Krey. 
Usually some outrigger motorized wooden boats wait for passengers in the morning at 8 a.m. The rate for going to Mansinam or Lemon is 3,000 rupiahs/ person. Actually, the boats are not worthy to be called taxi because they are not the same as sedan which you see in big cities. But here we like to call such boats as Taksi Air or Water Taxi. Because Manokwari city is located in  Papua which is a tropical island, the temperature during the day is high and hot. Make sure that you have applied sun screen lotion and wear a hat before embarking on the water taxi whose hull is not covered with any superstructure on it. The water taxi is a very basic boat that is also used by the local Papuan to catch fish.
When the passengers are full, the freeboard of the boat is very small. A large ripple from the sea can bring significant amount of sea water which will splash and wet your body. If you bring digital video or photo camera, put it inside its casing and then inside your travel bag so that it won't get wet and damaged in case sea waves splash into the boat and on your body.
Sometimes you need to ask the boat driver to reduce the speed or change the angle of the stem when you see big waves can make you wet and damage your electronic equipment or even make the boat capsized But don't worry, the water taxi drivers in this bay are experienced enough in handling their boats during such dangerous condition.
Sometimes special tent can be installed in the boat for tourists who want to travel around the islands in the Dorey bay but the travel guide has to contact the boat owner and arrange for such trip. by Charles Roring